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NFC North points: Justin Jefferson shines.Lions offense scatters

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To Carmen Vitali
FOX Sports NFC North Lighter

Can you not feel the fatigue of Justin Jefferson?

It didn’t turn out to be the most convincing of Sunday’s wins for the Minnesota Vikings, who are now 4-1, but the only loss in the drama of the near-comeback by the Chicago Bears was one. It was Justin Jefferson’s performance.

I will continue to marvel as long as Jefferson’s performance is justified. I just wrote “Justin Jefferson” at the top of my Sunday game notes. Full stop. End of sentence.

That’s because Jefferson did things like set up a career-high catch with 12 while racking up 154 ​​yards in the process. With the aforementioned 12 receptions, he also surpassed Randy Moss for the franchise record for most receptions of 236 in the player’s first three seasons, though he’s not even halfway through his third campaign.

If Jefferson’s performance was unprecedented, his 10 catches (10 targets) in the first half were the most by any NFL player in the first two quarters of the season. He had the most receptions in the first half since Keenan for the Chargers. Allen in week 11 of 2020. Also in another shocking league-wide stat, Jefferson tied Moss and Lance his Alworth in most games, and in the player’s first three of his season, he caught 6 yards. has gained over 150 yards.

‘Everyone agreed on our goals’ – Justin Jefferson after career-best performance and Vikings win

Justin Jefferson spoke with Christina Pink about the Minnesota Vikings’ tough win over the Chicago Bears and the team’s mentality moving forward heading into next week.

Oh yeah, Jefferson actually threw a pass too. In the second quarter, quarterback Kirk Cousins ​​lateraled the ball to Jefferson on the far left sideline, who then lateraled the ball back across the field to the opposite sideline. Cook stole the ball 23 yards and gave the team the lead at the 9-yard line. Wide receiver Jaylen Rieger finished with a 1-yard touchdown catch after three plays to put Minnesota up 21-3. This was the game’s biggest lead.

“I love it,” Jefferson said after the game. “It’s a chance to show off a little bit of your skill. I wish he scored, but of course I like finishing, especially on third down.”

Of course, Jefferson’s 12 catches wouldn’t have been possible without the quarterback catching them outright. Especially the first half. Cousins ​​completed his first 17 pass attempts, setting a new franchise record for himself in the process. By the end of the first half, Cousins ​​had completed 22 of 26 attempts for 217 yards and a touchdown.

“It felt like Kirk was there with confidence,” said Jefferson. I mean, we had a great game the whole first half against them, and Kirk can dial it up and go 17-of-17 going into the second half.”

Speaking of the second half, the Bears pulled off a 19-point comeback to take a one-point lead with 9:26 left in the fourth quarter. The Vikings’ offense had stalled to that point, but they played their cards shortly after Chicago’s go-ahead field goal.

Bears’ Darnell Mooney makes wild one-handed catch against Vikings

Bears' Darnell Mooney makes wild one-handed catch against Vikings

Chicago Bears wide receiver Darnell Mooney made a wild one-handed catch in Minnesota territory in the second quarter to put the bears into action.

Cousins ​​engineered a 17-play, 75-yard scoring drive with seven minutes off time. The Vikings scored his third down of five on the drive. Second and his 14th, Jefferson caught his 10-yard pass making him the third-handiest set-up, and Cousins ​​tackled a two-point conversion after a touchdown on a pass to Jefferson. , giving the Vikings his full 7-point lead. How the score stays.

“Third-down conversions are a big part of winning or losing,” Cousins ​​said after the game. “They put a lot of emphasis on your preparation each week. You basically spend a full day on Thursday trying to lock it in.

“Again, back to having so many parts that have to work. The design has to be good. It has to be well protected. Men should be open and against coverage. You have to separate, you have to find it and throw it, you have to mix your runs and passes. You have to stay third and be manageable. I think I had 10 third downs of 5 yards or less. 11 For allgame, it’s a different conversion than 3rd and 1st, so it’s easier to stay in 3rd, be more productive on 1st and 2nd downs, and give yourself a fighting chance on 3rd downs. Giving really helps.”

Jefferson agreed.

“It just shows the run we did throughout the drive,” he said. “We just dialed in for 20 seconds or 20 seconds or whatever. He called a great, great final drive and it was just us getting out there and playing.”

It helped the Vikings to wrap up yet another 1-score game. is becoming more and more confident.

Lions’ 4-down gamble doesn’t pay off

The Lions entered Foxborough with the league’s most productive offense, averaging 35 points per game in the first four weeks of the season. It was the defense that held Detroit away from a better record up until that point, and they had a great opportunity against third-string quarterback Bailey Zappe and a limited Patriots offense.

But they probably didn’t quite explain how good New England’s defense was.

The Patriots thrashed the Lions 29-0 with two sacks, an interception and a scoop-and-score TD.

The Patriots thrashed the Lions 29-0 with two sacks, an interception and a scoop-and-score TD.

The New England Patriots had 2 sacks, 1 interception and a scoop-and-score touchdown while holding the Detroit Lions to 0 points.

Matthew Judon had two sacks in the match. He also accounted for a total of seven pressures himself, according to PFF. He had blitz attacks on his 38.5% of them.

His completion percentage under pressure was just 21.4% and the Lions didn’t score a single point that day. Yes, the Patriots posted a 29-0 shutout at home, pushing the Lions deep into the NFC’s basement in the process.

Yet another strange wrinkle that you might want to blame comes in fourth. Head coach Dan Campbell isn’t shy about doing it in those situations. I challenged. They didn’t convert any of them.

In fact, a quarter down in particular proved costly when Goff was sacked by Judon on 4 and 9 and punched the ball out at the same time. Goff’s fumble was scooped up by safety Kyle Duggar and brought defensively into his zone for his score and the Pats made him 13-0 in the second quarter.

But oddly enough, the Lions probably justified doing it every time. Aside from the aforementioned fumble being returned for a touchdown, here’s where New England started the drive after Detroit started the drive on 4th down instead of a punt .

  • DET 45
  • NE34
  • NE6
  • NE32
  • NE18

The Patriots’ average field position to start offensive drives was 22. This is better than what you get with touchback.

So in this case the 4th down should be treated as the 3rd down, and both the 3rd and 4th downs taken together are where the Lions failed the most. In 4 out of 18, the conversion rate was just 22%.

After the game, Campbell said, “Our offense has been pretty consistent and played very well.” I couldn’t stay on the field because of that.”

Simple like that.

Detroit has an early bye to try to figure things out before heading to Dallas to face one of the league’s top defenses with the Cowboys.

Packers are not productive late

Green Bay upset the New York Giants on Sunday at home away from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.

Giants head coach Bryan Daball beat Packers head coach Matt Raffler and made a number of constant creative adjustments that proved too much for Green Bay’s defense. The Giants made six of his 11 third downs, and he was perfect in a goal-to-go situation, going 3-for-3. Overall red he was 3 of 4 in the zone.

But they hurt the Packers with a big play, running back Sakwon Barkley scoring two plays of 40-plus yards and a 40-yard run to help set up a 2-yard double reverse touchdown. Includes one direct snap taken with

How Brian Dabor positively impacted Giants’ 4-1 start | Herd

How Brian Dabor positively impacted Giants' 4-1 start | Herd

In London, NFC East rivals the New York Giants recovered from a 14-point deficit to beat the Green Bay Packers 27-22. Aaron Rodgers struggled on the Packers’ final drive. How much of the Giants’ 4-1 record is due to new head his coach Brian Daboll, Colin Cowherd opines and compares the struggles of Daboll and his Matt LaFleur.

Green Bay’s offense got off to a hot start, and had they worked on something in the second half, they could have survived the aforementioned play or the Giants overall. The Packers only scored 30 total points in five games in the second half of the season. Against the Giants, it was his second time this year to go scoreless in his final two quarters of a game.

Against the Patriots last week, Green Bay scored 20 points in the second half. This proved to be an important caveat now that Green Bay has set back again.

The Jets ended up in a 40-17 tie with the Miami Dolphins, but have a chance to face the New York Jets at home this weekend. This Sunday, it’s easy to see how the Jets and Packers’ Week 5 performances were a fluke.

Carmen Vitali covers NFC North for FOX Sports. Carmen previously played for Draft Network and Tampa Bay He was with the Buccaneers. She spent her six her seasons with the Bucks, and in 2020 the title of Super Bowl her champion (and boat her parade participant) was added to her resume. You can follow Carmen on her Twitter. @CarmieV.

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